This week I had intended to cover fennel, but my fennel went bad before I could put something together. Instead I turned to some carrots that were leftover from an earlier meal. Since I hadn’t planned on using these for Fifty Two Foods, I neglected to get the name of the Farmers’ Market Booth we got them from.
A few months ago, I made my first batch of pickled carrots, and I was extremely pleased with the way they turned out. I mostly ate the carrots whole as snacks or palate cleansers at the end of a salmon dinner, but I also tried them in a sandwich, where they added a fantastic zing. I decided to make some carrots especially for sandwiches, and sliced them before pickling so they would be ready to go right out of the jar.
My pickling recipe is still a bit of a work in progress. I wanted the carrots to come out nice and spicy, so this recipe is really heavy on pepper—both black peppercorns and ground cayenne. It also has mustard seed, ground coriander, juniper berries and a bay leaf.
I toasted the spices in a sauce pot over medium-low heat, until they were nice and fragrant. Then I added equal parts water and white vinegar, along with some salt and sugar, and turned the heat up to get it all boiling.
After the mixture boiled, I poured it over the sliced carrots in a canning jar, then let it cool for about 45 minutes before putting the lid on and placing them in the fridge. These should keep one to two weeks in the refrigerator.
The sandwich I mentioned earlier was a fig and chÃ¨vre grilled sandwich, with sliced pickled carrots in the middle. I used a tasty Dalmatia fig spread, which I’ve seen in many grocery stores, and a nice Sonoma made chÃ¨vre from Laura Chenel.
Butter the backsides of two slices of bread, and then spread chÃ¨vre on one slice and the fig spread on the other. Place a layer of carrot slices in the middle, then grill in a panini maker or in a skillet. The spiciness of the carrots plays really well with the sweetness of the fig, and the smooth, cool flavor of the chÃ¨vre brings it all together. You may want a second sandwich, so make sure you pickle enough carrots.
Scrubbed and sliced carrots
1 tbsp. mustard seed
1 tbsp. ground coriander
2 tbsp. black peppercorns
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. juniper berries.
1 bay leaf
1 1/3 cup vinegar
1 1/3 cup water
2 tbsp. salt
3 tbsp. sugar
Toast mustard seed, coriander, black peppercorns, cayenne pepper and bay leaf in a sauce pan over medium-low heat. When spices become fragrant, add vinegar, water salt and sugar. Cook over high heat until boiling and salt and sugar are dissolved. Pour over sliced carrots in a canning jar. Let cool and refrigerate at least 12 hours before enjoying.
See all the photos here.